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Thread: River walk

  1. #1

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    Paul Matthews

    River walk

    Had a nice stroll earlier whilst the weather was ok and took a few shots. These are what i thought were the best 3 but im a little unsure. Something doesn't quite look right. They have had a little PP but please let me know what could be improved. Cheers

    River walk

    River walk

    River walk

  2. #2

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    Cheryl Davidson

    Re: River walk

    Hi Paul,

    They look to me like they may have been moving and the sharpness has suffered as a consequence. There appears to be blown highlights in the swan and last duck so the exposure needs to come down a fraction so as not to blow out the whites. How close were you from the birds?

    Cheryl

  3. #3

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    Paul Matthews

    Re: River walk

    Hi Cheryl

    I was about 2meters from the swan and between 5 and 10 from the duck. I had loads of the swan but had a lot with blown pixels. I thought that was the better one I had. I didn't notice it in the duck tbh.
    I'll try again when the weathers nice and I get an hour or so to myself.

  4. #4

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    Cheryl Davidson

    Re: River walk

    Hi Paul,

    2 metres is quite close for the swan. Perhaps I would try setting the camera to TV for birds and let the camera pick the exposure until you get a few that are keepers. At 2 metres you should be able to get good detail in the swan. I was about the same distance with this pelican. Sorry I didn't have a swan to show you. Hope they are there again for you.

    Cheryl
    River walk

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: River walk

    Hi Paul,

    You definitely need to wind down the exposure (at least a stop) on all these.

    As Cheryl mentions, nothing makes birds look soft like blown whites, but also be wary of the bold colours too; the red and yellow of the moorhen's bill will blow the red channel, losing detail too.

    That said, the focus is definitely off on the swan, I find swans quite difficult to Auto-Focus on because the head rarely stays in one place long and for a close up portrait like this, you can't cheat and use the feet instead So expect a lot of misses and shoot more to increase your odds of a hit.

    I see you were on Shutter priority (Tv) at 1/400 on these, but with 300mm on a crop body, a higher shutter speed will be wiser.

    In Tv (or Av or P), you need to use EC (exposure compensation) to get it right and how much EC depends upon a lot of variables, some of which can change by the second.

    I see you were using "Multi-segment" metering mode - I'm not familiar with Canon terminology, but that sounds like "Average" to me, which probably the best compromise for this. You had no EC applied, the ratio of dark background to white swan has led to over exposure, so - 1 EC would be my starting point, then I'd review the histogram and adjust EC again as necessary.

    However, you must bear in mind that if the ratio of light area to dark area changes (e.g. subject size in shot), or the shade of the background changes, this will affect the EC needed in order to keep the swan exposed correctly. This is all building to this being an ideal time to shoot with Manual exposure, work out the correct exposure for the swan, set that and use it - no need to change it unless the swan goes in shadow (e.g. under tree or cloud obscures sun). Manual exposure will save you keep chasing your tail with EC as you follow the swan around - or, as it follows/chases you

    I shot some like your first one back in April, quite pleased with the results - and my settings were; Aperture Priority (but I'll be using Manual next time!) 1/1500s, f/8, iso 400.

    Note the much higher shutter speed and using the lens at a better aperture than wide open, afforded by upping the iso, giving less exposure and possibly brighter sunshine. I was a lot closer, this was taken at 98mm, but with a significant PP crop, so should have been about 180-200mm. I'm still learning!

    River walk
    Nikon D5000 + Nikon 70-300mm VR: 98mm, 1/1500s, f/8, iso400 (235-52295_ed1)
    Hit Kbd F11 and click image to see at 1,243px 1,000px (recommended)

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 17th June 2012 at 04:56 PM. Reason: added example image

  6. #6

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    Paul Matthews

    Re: River walk

    Wow that's a cracking pic by both of you. I'll keep Practicing and playing with the manual settings next time as they are always in the same spot. Thanks so much for your inputs and criticisms and I'll keep trying and pestering for advice.

  7. #7

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    Bobo

    Re: River walk

    One thing about birds and super daylight. The whites will blow, the yellows and reds will blow, highly reflecting greens as well.

    Just practice lots and lots and you will soon be able to read the light. After a bit it will just fall in place.

    Swans can be a particularly problematic subject - the more you try not to blow the whites the more of their black parts become under exposed. Very much the same kind of situation that many wedding photogs get with bride in white and groom in black.
    Last edited by Bobobird; 17th June 2012 at 10:09 PM.

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